Here is another cartoon that has Zasu Pitts and Mae West characters appearing together. Laurel and Hardy, the Marx Brothers, and many other familiar faces can also be seen as cartoon characters in this story.
- The cartoon was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Short, but lost to another Disney cartoon short, Ferdinand the Bull
- Katharine Hepburn's type of speech, which pronounces the word "really" as "rally", has been spoofed in other 1930s and 1940s era cartoons, including Red in Tex Avery's Red Hot Riding Hood)
- Donald Duck makes his second and final appearance in a Silly Symphonies cartoon. (The first one was his debut in The Wise Little Hen (1934).
- Charles Laughton's role as the captain references his starring role as Captain Bligh in Mutiny on the Bounty (1935 film).
- Spencer Tracy appears as Manuel Fidello, in his Oscar Award-winning role in Captains Courageous (film).
- When Hepburn sails by on sea she quotes the poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.
- W. C. Fields' role as Humpty Dumpty references him playing the same part in the 1933 film Alice in Wonderland.
- W. C. Fields' line, "my little Chickadee", is a reference to a line associated with him, which was later used as the title of one of his famous films two years later.
- W. C. Fields was often ridiculed by Charlie McCarthy on the NBC-Red "Chase and Sanborn Hour."
- Oliver Hardy whistles the Laurel and Hardy Signature Tune, the famous theme music of the Laurel and Hardy movies.
- Laurel and Hardy's pie fight is a reference to similar scenes in their films.
- Greta Garbo's famous quote: "I want to be alone" is a reference to her role in Grand Hotel (film).
- The joke where someone hits a clarinet player on the head with a hammer, causing his clarinet to sound like a bassoon, had also been used in another Disney cartoon: The Band Concert (1935)
- When Chico Marx plays Waller's piano he points his hand like a pistol, in reference to his famous piano playing style.
- Cab Calloway sings "Hi-de-hoo" and "Zah-zu-zah-zu-zah", references to his songs "Keep that Hi-de-hoo in your soul" and "Zah-zu-zah".
- Martha Raye and Joe E. Brown are dancing together, because they were both famous for their big mouths.
- An official Disney page (see below) claims Rudy Vallee is also caricatured in this cartoon.
- Katharine Hepburn appears in the same scene as Spencer Tracy even though they had never met or worked together before. After 1942, they made ten movies together and secretly had an affair for 25 years.
CensorshipSince the 1960s this cartoon has not been broadcast very often on television, due to the stereotypical depictions of African Americans in some scenes. Sometimes it has been broadcast minus the scenes with African Americans. Only a few scenes however can be considered racially offensive. First of all, Hepburn being hit in the face with a pie, which makes her resemble a black face singer speaking in stereotypical African American slang. Secondly the comparison between blackbirds and African-Americans by Cantor, and thirdly the caricature of Stepin Fetchit, whose lazy, dimwitted behavior may offend contemporary viewers who might not know the actor and his typical movie roles.
As animation critic Charles Solomon noted in his book: "Enchanted Drawings: History of Animation", the caricatures of Fats Waller and Cab Calloway don't poke fun at their race and are treated just as good or bad like the other caricatured celebrities spoofed in this cartoon.
* * *
Scenes from the cartoon: